Frequently Raised Objections
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It's illegal for private enterprise to go into space.

This frequently raised objection shows up in a lot of guises, which we will attempt to summarize here.

Private space launches

U.S. law regulates private space launches, and the current law is quite unreasonable. A private company wanting to build and launch a rocket faces a mountain of red tape and very long lead times for getting approval from the government. However, although these problems add a tremendous amount of cost to private space launches, there are no laws that prohibit private space launches.

Private enterprise in space

Commercial space ventures have been going for decades now, everything from communication satellites to Spacehab. Among the early payloads on the Space Shuttle was the Electropheresis Operations in Space, built by a partnership consisting of McDonnell Douglas and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals. On several Shuttle flights, the EOS equipment was accompanied by Charlie Walker, the world's first commercial astronaut. So, again, there are no laws against private enterprise in space, and we have billions of dollars of private industry conducted over the years to serve as examples of this fact.

Private ownership of any part of any celestial body

This misconception comes from vague recollections of "The Moon Treaty", which the United States refused to sign. The Moon Treaty would make it illegal, under international law, for any terrestrial nation to claim sovereignity over any celestial body. This treaty does not preclude people living on another planet from claiming ownership of that land; it simply means that Earth nations can't claim to own other planets.

The complete text of the Moon Treaty is available in section 3.5 of the Artemis Data Book.

Frequently Raised Objections

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